Beirut: Lebanon on Sunday, marked the second anniversary of its popular uprising wherein demonstrators took to the streets against government corruption and austerity measures in the country’s largest protest movement in years.
On October 17, 2019, security forces used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to break through the security barriers around the government headquarters. For the first in the history of the country, Lebanese people of all faiths joined together.
Two years after the start of the popular uprising, the country is still suffering from a shortage of medicine, food and fuel and nationwide disruptions.
On Thursday, unknown gunmen opened fire at protestors supporting the Hezbollah group and the Amal Movement near the Palace of Justice in Beirut. Seven people were pronounced dead and 32 others were wounded, according to authorities.
The protest was organized to demand the dismissal of Tarek Bitar, the judge who presided over the investigation into the Beirut port explosion last year. The court had rejected a complaint against him and allowed him to continue the investigation.
The Beirut port blast in August 2020 killed more than 200 people, injured around 6,000, and left some 300,000 homeless, besides causing massive damage and further weakening of Lebanon’s already fragile economy.
Kuwait calls on its citizens to leave Lebanon following the clashes in Beirut
The Kuwaiti Embassy in Lebanon has urged its citizens to leave Lebanon and postpone plans to travel to the country after deadly shootings erupted in the capital Beirut on Thursday, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said its embassy in Beirut “calls upon Kuwaiti citizens present there to exercise caution and to stay away from sites of gatherings and security disturbances in some areas and to stay in their residences.”
Schools, banks and government offices across Lebanon shut down Friday after hours of gun battles between heavily armed militias killed seven people and terrorized the residents of Beirut.